NEW YORK, NY.- Landers has been illuminating his not-so-private, stream-of-consciousness thoughts for 3 decades. He has consistently used language and humor, especially, across all media: drawing, painting, books, sculpture, sound and video. He intentionally pushes our buttons by self-consciously pushing his own. We chuckle nervously and snicker knowingly when we 'read' his paintings. If youre honest with yourself, his uncertainty is very close to your own. Clayton Press, Forbes
Works on paper are a central part of Sean Landerss practice, an artist who has long used text as a key element of both his process and output. Beginning in 1990, as a then emerging artist, Landers was the subject of a solo show titled Art, Life and God at Postmasters Gallery in New York. The exhibition, which laid much of the conceptual foundation for his work to come, was made up, in part, of 159 sheets of yellow notebook paper, individually pinned to the gallery walls. On the pages, the viewer encountered the fictional musings, trials, hopes, tribulations, and desperation of Landerss artist alter-ego, Chris Hamson whom Artforum described as artist-as-failure in its review.
Since that time, Landers has continued to expound upon these themes, never straying far from the use of text and paper. Many of his seminal works find their origins in a process of near constant stream-of-consciousness writing and doodling on legal pads, followed by extracting selected elements to reproduce in large-scale detail. Throughout his thirty-year career he has employed a multitude of subjects, often involving a revolving cast of characters in a mix of human, cartoon, and animal form. In canvases made up of hundreds of phrases nestled into book spines or street posts, or carved into fictional trees, to paintings imitating original works on legal pad paper themselves, recreating the individual markings from pencil, highlighter, and pen into oil paint on canvas, Landers continually obscures the distinction between himself and the voice in his work, using pseudo-biographical characters to approach deeper issues of identity and philosophy through parody and humor. From confessions in text poured out in web-like formations to the image of lonely clowns at sea, Landerss artworks span an enormous breadth of subjects that ultimately touch on profound and existential themes.
Sean Landers (b. 1962, Palmer, MA) is a painter and multi-media artist living and working in New York. He has exhibited widely and a retrospective of his work is currently on view through October at Le Consortium in Dijon, France. Other solo museum shows include Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, (2010) and the Kunsthalle Zürich, Switzerland (2004). He has had solo exhibitions at Petzel, New York; Capitain Petzel, Berlin; greengrassi, London; Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels; and Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo. His work has been included in recent group exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (2017); The FLAG Art Foundation, New York (2017); The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2016); Deichtorhallen Hamburg (2015); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2013); New Museum, New York (2013), among others. Landers received his MFA from Yale University School of Art in 1986 and his BFA from the Philadelphia College of Art in 1984.